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Is it an incandescent bulb or fluorescent?
Fluorescent bulbs work by passing a current through ionized gas. In order to ionize the gas at startup and to keep the current flow regulated, these bulbs have some extra electronics in them. There are different ways these bulbs can die, but the one that causes flickering is usually that some of the electronics start to wear out.
Good point. My knowledge of the engineering and operation of Fluorescent lights is pretty limited. I looked them up a while ago when I saw a CF bulb burn out in a puff of smoke which melted a hole in the plastic casing around the ballast (the ballast is the bit that regulates the current flow through the gas within the bulb). That raises a question for me: why are they designed to burn out this way? Is it because letting a ballast die in less predictable ways could lead to unregulated current and a fire hazard, so that having the ballast self-destruct is far safer?